Richland County Emergency Medical Services won a national American Heart Association award for its efforts to improve the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.
The association's Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award recognizes emergency responders for their care of patients who suffer a ST Elevation Myorcardial Infarction, or STEMI – a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart.
This is not the first time the staff has achieved this honor.
“This is a tremendous honor for our EMS staff to be recognized for the fifth year in a row for the American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline Gold Plus Award,” said Alonzo Smith, Assistant Director of Emergency Services.
The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify a STEMI, promptly notify a medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication. Therefore, it is vital EMS crews are trained to begin treatment on the scene.
“Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient,” said Dr. Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “We applaud Richland County EMS for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
Smith said EMS crews appreciate what the recognition says about their dedication to emergency medical care efforts to the community.
“This verifies that our patients in Richland County continue to receive exceptional cardiac care,” he said.